Advertisements

Mike’s Top Ten of 1972

1972 always stands out to people because one of the consensus greatest films of all time came out this year. But outside of that, man… are there some great movies here.

What I like best about this year is that you come for The Godfather, and stay for all of the great gems that are all throughout this year. There are like four movies in my top ten that are straight up forgotten gems, and then a few more that are vastly underappreciated.

Not to spoil the fun, but… The Ruling Class, What’s Up Doc, Sleuth and The Hot Rock. Those are your gems. Don’t miss those.

Mike’s Top Ten of 1972

1776

Cabaret

Deliverance

The Godfather

Pete ‘n’ Tillie

The Poseidon Adventure

The Ruling Class

Sleuth

Solaris

What’s Up, Doc?

11-20: Buck and the Preacher, The Candidate, The Cowboys, The Getaway, The Heartbreak Kid, The Hot Rock, Jeremiah Johnson, Last Tango in Paris, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, Napoleon and Samantha

Tier two: Across 110th Street, Aguirre the Wrath of God, Avanti!, Boxcar Bertha, Butterflies Are Free, Cocksucker Blues, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask), Fat City, Frenzy, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, Lady Sings the Blues, The Man, The Offence, Play It Again Sam, Play It as It Lays, The Revengers, Snoopy Come Home, Sounder, Super Fly

– – – – – – – – – –

1. The Godfather

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

I think we’ve all got this one pretty much down by now. Not a whole lot to add as to why this is the #1 film of 1972.

Not a whole lot to add as to why this is one of the greatest films ever made.

We’re all so familiar with this movie that it’s almost more interesting to talk about all the behind the scenes stuff than the film itself, because the film is so commonplace (I don’t even reference scenes from this movie anymore, I reference inflections of lines). Though I think we all know the behind the scenes stories of this one too.

There are not many movies that, if it’s on TV and I come across it, I’m watching the rest of it. What a masterpiece.

2. 1776

“I have come to the conclusion that one useless man is called a disgrace; that two are called a law firm, and that three or more become a Congress! And by God, I have had this Congress!”

One of my favorite musicals. One of my favorite films. Just an absolute joy. Whoever thought this was a great idea for a musical is a genius.

For those who don’t know, this is a musical that depicts the Second Continental Congress arguing about whether or not to declare independence from England. It’s so good.

The de facto star of the film is William Daniels (aka Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World) as John Adams, but it’s a complete ensemble piece. Howard Da Silva is incredible as Benjamin Franklin (he steals every scene he’s in), Ken Howard is great as Thomas Jefferson, and you have Blythe Danner as Abigail Adams.

This is one of those movies I’m sure they show everyone in school when they teach history, and rightfully so. It’s just a joy to watch and gives you a fictionalized account that can help you learn a little bit of history.

3. Sleuth

“Andrew… remember… be sure and tell them… it was only a bloody game.”

LOVE this movie. It’s fallen almost completely by the wayside. They remade this too and I don’t even think people know about that. (The fun fact about the remake is that it has Michael Caine playing the older role as opposed to the younger role that he plays here.)

This is a two-hander of a film that is so clearly based on a play. But it doesn’t matter because it’s so well-written and well-acted.

Laurence Olivier stars as a mystery writer and Michael Caine co-stars as a hairdresser sleeping with Olivier’s wife. The opening of the film is Caine coming to tell Olivier (who is in the middle of an elaborate hedge maze, tipping off the twists and turns the film is going to take) he’s going to run away with his wife. And things get… interesting, from there. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but it’s so good.

This is a movie that is criminally underseen nowadays and really deserves a much larger audience. Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz, who has his fair share of classics under his belt. Both Caine and Olivier were nominated for their roles in this, and it’s just a real gem.

4. Cabaret

“What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play
Life is a cabaret, old chum
Come to the cabaret”

Bob Fosse. His most iconic film. I’m an All That Jazz guy myself, but there’s no denying this movie is a masterpiece. This movie (along with her TV special, Liza with a Z) introduced Liza Minnelli to the world and made her a superstar (and an Oscar winner). Fosse also won Best Director for this over Francis Ford Coppola. This movie won more Oscars than The Godfather and was more acclaimed. Sure, time sided with The Godfather there, but this movie is so good.

It’s a musical based on a play based on a novella. (Fun fact, the play spawned its own film, I Am a Camera, starring Julie Harris as Sally. Something to check out if you really like this film.) It’s about a British writer who moves to Germany and lives with an American cabaret singer in the days just before the Nazis took over.

The film is stunningly directed and features Fosse’s signature choreography. Liza Minnelli gives a powerhouse performance that is just electric. Joel Grey is so good as the Master of Ceremonies. The freewheeling first half makes the end even more powerful when everything suddenly becomes Nazi Germany.

This is really just a masterpiece. It might get slightly overlooked because of The Godfather, but this is truly one of the best movies of its year and its decade, and one of the greatest musicals and films ever made.

5. The Poseidon Adventure

“Jesus Christ! What happened?”
“We’ve turned over.”

To me, the greatest of the disaster movies. Some might argue for The Towering Inferno, which for me is a close second, but to me it doesn’t get any better than this.

A bunch of people are on an ocean liner celebrating New Years and all of a sudden a giant tidal wave comes and capsizes the boat. So now all these people are on an upside down boat and need to get to the bottom or else they’re gonna drown. It’s so great.

The cast includes Gene Hackman, Shelley Winters, Ernest Borgnine, Jack Albertson, Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Arthur O’Connell and Pamela Sue Martin.

One of those movies that everyone loves because it’s just great. The lack of CGI makes this one of those movies that they truly don’t make anymore.

6. The Ruling Class

“If I had only known then who I was now.”

While Sleuth is one of those gems that I think everyone needs to watch because I know they’re gonna love it, this is one of those gems that I love that I love telling people about that I don’t even presume to think anyone but me will ever like. This is one of the more fucked up movies you’ll ever see and I couldn’t get enough of it when I first saw it and I still can’t get enough of it now.

Let me attempt to explain this one to you. The film begins with an Earl accidentally hanging himself in the strangest possible way (and talking to the camera as he does it). Therefore, his land and his title must get passed down to the next in line. That person happens to be Peter O’Toole. The problem with Peter O’Toole (as you can see in the above photo) is that he believes that he’s Jesus. That’s right. He thinks he’s Jesus. So he goes around blessing the servants and doing all sorts of crazy shit for the first half of the film. He breaks into song out of nowhere. It’s hysterical. All the while, his family members scheme to disinherit him. This first half culminates in a crazy electroshock therapy sequence where the doctor convinces O’Toole that he (meaning the doctor) is the “Electric Messiah” and shocks the hell out of him until he no longer believes he’s Jesus. The doctor manages to convince him that’s not Jesus, he’s Jack (that’s his name). Only, what we soon find out… he thinks he’s Jack The Ripper.

I love everything about this movie. It’s so crazy funny the first half, and then there’s that centerpiece sequence. But the second half of the film gets dark. Like really dark. And it’s such a wonderful tonal shift that it makes most people who watch it thoroughly uncomfortable. Though, in my mind, the second half is just as funny as the first (though in a way more fucked up kinda way). O’Toole is absolutely astonishing here, and had he not been up against Marlon Brando for Best Actor, he would have been my vote by a mile.

This is one of those movies I’m not gonna try to force on you. Usually the weirdness of the plot is what gets people to check it out. But I warn you — it’s not for everyone. It takes a very specific kind of sensibility to appreciate this one, and some people just don’t have it. I, for one, think this movie is one of the great gems of all time and love it dearly. Take that for what you will.

7. Deliverance

“Sometimes you have to lose yourself ‘fore you can find anything.”

Not that I think most of you had planned on doing this, but this i a movie that definitely makes you think twice about rafting down in the backwoods of the South.

I’m never sure what I can or should say about this movie, because on the one hand, I feel like most people know the kind of fucked up stuff that happens in this, but on the other hand, if you don’t, I don’t really want to spoil it for you. Because nothing’s better than watching someone who really doesn’t quite have the full idea of where this movie is going see it all unfold for the first time. I feel like most people have a vague idea of what happens, but still don’t really quite know what they’re in for. And that’s the best way to watch this movie.

Simple plot description: a bunch of dudes go river rafting before a particular river is turned into a lake. Thing don’t turn out as well as they hope.

Everyone knows about the “Dueling Banjos” from this movie. It’s so iconic to the point that the simple presence of that song has become synonymous with ‘bad shit happening in the backwoods of the South’. But this movie is so much more than that.

Stars Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox. Directed by John Boorman, who to this point had both Point Blank and Hell in the Pacific on his resume. This one really got him noticed, getting him a Best Director nomination to go along with the film’s Best Picture nomination. (It’s nuts to think this was nominated for Best Picture. It’s great, but it’s not the type of movie you’d expect them to nominate.) And then after this he made Zardoz. But that’s a story for another day.

8. Solaris

“You mean more to me than any scientific truth.”

One of the best sci fi movies ever made. Steven Soderbergh remade this with George Clooney and barely anybody noticed. That’s because this movie is still far and away better and still an all-time classic of the genre.

It takes a back seat to 2001, and rightfully so, but this stands up as one of the 10 or 15 best space films ever made.

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, who should be a familiar name by now. His first two films were Ivan’s Childhood and Andrei Rublev, both of which are classics. And this is his third feature. He made seven films in his career, and five of them are straight up classics.

This film is about a psychiatrist who is sent up to a space station orbiting a remote planet to figure out what caused the entire crew to seemingly go crazy. It’s a very complex film. There are a lot of emotional layers to it and it’s much more a film about the human condition than it is a space thriller. It’s almost like the entire film takes place inside that vortex at the end of 2001 and focuses on the inner psychology of its main characters. It’s quite beautiful, though admittedly the film is very slow moving and could be unbearable for those expecting something with more of a pace to it.

This might be my favorite of Tarkovsky’s movies. I generally go back and forth between three of them. Still, if you want a movie that, along with 2001, is hugely influential on the space film genre (specifically in terms of production design) and actually tries to engage with you intellectually rather than give you the same old ‘bad things happen to people in space’ story, this one is definitely for you.

9. What’s Up, Doc?

“I forgot. I forgot to give you this letter. It was under your door when I came back to your room last night.”
“Did you open this?”
How else could I have read it?”

There are a couple of things Hollywood lost over time. Because of the changing of times, entire genres and styles of filmmaking just completely went away. You couldn’t really do slapstick after the 30s. Not the way people like The Three Stooges did it. You can’t do a romantic comedy now, because everyone’s so pessimistic. However, when someone is able to resurrect a genre that’s been long dormant, and do it well, it’s really impressive.

Peter Bogdanovich is a filmmaker who does seem to try to emulate the films and genres he saw growing up, and here he turned his attention to screwball comedy. And that’s a genre that is very precise. It takes great writing, great plotting, great timing and great actors to pull off. Sometimes you can have most of those things, but it doesn’t quite work.

This film, I am happy to say, very much works. If you love movies like Bringing Up Baby and The Awful Truth, this is very much something you should check out.

It stars Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand. He plays very much the Cary Grant in Bringing Up Baby role, and she’s the Hepburn. The film revolves around four different bags, which are all identical, and all get mixed up at a hotel, causing all sorts of mayhem. This movie also has Madeline Kahn in her first film, and she almost steals the movie (a trend that would continue throughout the rest of her career).

You know a screwball works when stuff that they’ve been setting up all movie comes calling back all at once and makes you laugh despite yourself. This movie is so funny and is legitimately one of the funniest movies ever made. Do not miss this one.

10. Pete ‘n’ Tillie

“Honeymoon’s over. Time to get married.”

Another one of those hidden gems. The 70s, more than any other decade, has the most films that I found by chance that ended up being dear favorites of mine.

I discovered this because of a stray Oscar nomination. Without that, maybe I get to it years later because of the stars, but even then, who knows? (The stray nomination was Geraldine Page for Supporting Actress, by the way.) It’s one of those movies that I put on, not expecting anything out of, and before long was head over heels in love with it.

This movie was written by Julius J. Epstein, who you may recognize as one of the screenwriting twins who wrote Casablanca. (This movie was actually his first nominated script after he won for Casablanca, thirty years prior.) Directed by Martin Ritt (who directed Hud and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and The Great White Hope and also Sounder this year) and starring Walter Matthau and Carol Burnett.

It’s about a couple who are introduced at a party. He’s a confirmed bachelor and her friends are trying to set her up before she becomes a spinster. They have a bit of a weird courtship at first, and are decidedly not made for each other. And we watch as they charmingly fall in love, and get married, and start a family, and deal with all of life’s little (and big) crises. I don’t want to give too much away, because this movie takes a few turns that I wasn’t expecting (and that don’t go the way you’d expect them to normally go), but it’s mostly about the mismatched relationship between the two of them and how they get by in spite of that. It’s really great. I keep finding myself liking it more as the years pass.

– – – – – – – – – –

11-20:

Buck and the Preacher — A western directed by Sidney Poitier starring him and Harry Belafonte. A great buddy western road comedy. Poitier is leading wagon trains of black settlers to homestead out west. Belafonte is a con man masquerading as a preacher. And they team up to help protect the settlers from plantation owners who are trying to prevent blacks from owning land out west. This was Sidney Poitier’s first directorial effort, and he does a great job. He’d go on to direct another eight movies after this. There’s also some nice Civil Rights parallels in there too, which should be fun for real western fans, since that was always what the genre was about, modern themes in an ‘old’ genre.

The Candidate — This is one of the great political movies of all time, and one of the essential 70s movies. The Democratic party needs to find a candidate to oppose the sure-to-win Republican candidate. So they pick Robert Redford, who looks great on paper but would never be a serious candidate for them due to his very left-leaning ideals. But since no established name wants to go in to lose, they pick him, telling him he can say whatever he wants on the campaign trail. So he agrees, thinking he’ll get to put his message out there. Of course, then they start to find out that he’s gonna get destroyed, and make him tone his message down. Only the more he tones his message down, the more it looks like he has a chance to win. It’s such an amazing movie, and because it’s the 70s, they really don’t wimp out on the ending. They make their statement, which is really great. One of the great endings in movies. Cannot recommend this movie highly enough.

The Cowboys — This is one of the final westerns John Wayne made, and very dissimilar to most of his movies, for reasons you’ll see when you watch it. He’s an aging rancher who has to hire new hands for a cattle drive. He ends up hiring a bunch of inexperienced schoolboys. So it’s John Wayne and a bunch of kids going on a cattle drive. And he has to make a man out of them, that whole thing. And of course there’s Bruce Dern and a bunch of rustlers that show up, and the boys have to become men… you know the drill. It’s a lot of fun. One of the hidden gems on the John Wayne filmography.

The Getaway — Sam Peckinpah, Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw. What more do you need? One of the great 70s crime thrillers. Steve McQueen at his coolest, Ali MacGraw at her sexiest, and just an awesome movie. Also written by Walter Hill, which is just a cherry on top.

The Heartbreak Kid — One of the great comedies. Charles Grodin marries Jeannie Berlin. On their honeymoon, he almost immediately begins to suspect that he made a very, very bad mistake in marrying her. He then meets Cybill Shepherd, and begins to think she might be the right person for him. So he decides to leave his wife and marry her instead. Only her father (an Oscar-nominated Eddie Albert)… not too happy about that.

The Hot Rock — One of the coolest crime movies of the 70s. Constantly underrated and constantly discovered by people who see it now and go, “That movie was really great.” Robert Redford and George Segal, written by William Goldman and directed by Peter Yates. They decide to steal a valuable diamond… only things go wrong every time and they have to steal it again and again and again. It’s so much fun. If you’re looking for a hidden gem, this is one for you.

Jeremiah Johnson — Robert Redford again. Pretty much everything he made in the 70s is gonna be in the top ten or top twenty for its year. He picked great material and all the films turned out amazing. He’s directed by Sydney Pollack here (they reunited for The Way We Were the year after this) and he plays a mountain man who just wants to be left the fuck alone. That’s it. That’s all you need to know. He becomes a mountain man and we watch him survive and get into some adventures. It’s incredible. Anyone who shares at least 50% of my film tastes is gonna enjoy this movie. If you’re on the fence about watching this movie and don’t know if the answer should be yes or no, take a cue from Jeremiah:

Last Tango in Paris — Everyone’s heard of this movie. It’s one of the classic films of all time. I’m pretty sure the genre for this one is ‘erotic’. Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider meet and decide to begin a no-strings attached relationship. No names, no intimacy, just sex. And that’s the film. Famous for many things, most specifically the ‘butter’ scene… it’s a classic. It’s impeccably directed, though some might (understandably and acceptably) call it overrated. It’s not gonna be liked by everyone the way its stature suggests, but if you’re into movies, this is one you kinda need to see at some point.

The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean — This is one of those movies you’ve never heard of that I can sell to you almost instantaneously. You ready? John Huston directs Paul Newman in a western about Judge Roy Bean that’s written by John Milius and co-stars Jacqueline Bisset and Anthony Perkins. Pretty sure I had you after the first two names, but that’s what we’re dealing with here. If you’ve watched enough westerns or know enough history, you know about Judge Roy Bean, self-appointed lawman and ‘hanging judge’, who is famous for being obsessed with the actress Lily Langtry. This is one of those movies that feels like a hangout film. More about the characters and the setting than a plot. Which… those are the best types of movies.

Napoleon and Samantha — Great little family movie. It’s about an eleven year old boy living with his grandfather who somehow end up in care of a lion. When the grandfather dies, the boy thinks the lion will be taken away, so he takes his female friend and the pair run off with the lion in search of a graduate student they met who helped them bury the boy’s grandfather, who now lives up in the mountains. It’s a Disney movie and I had no idea it even existed for the longest time. Jodie Foster plays the boy’s friend and Michael Douglas plays the guy they’re looking for. It’s a lovely little movie (though it does take a very potentially dark turn about 3/4 of the way through. And I’m not even talking about the grandfather dying).

– – – – – – – – – –

Tier two:

  • Across 110th Street
  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God
  • Avanti!
  • Boxcar Bertha
  • Butterflies Are Free
  • Cocksucker Blues
  • The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)
  • Fat City
  • Frenzy
  • The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid
  • Lady Sings the Blues
  • The Man
  • The Offence
  • Play It Again Sam
  • Play It as It Lays
  • The Revengers
  • Snoopy Come Home
  • Sounder
  • Super Fly

Aguirre, the Wrath of God is one of the most famous films ever made, and probably is Werner Herzog’s most famous film. It stars Klaus Kinski as a conquistador who leads an expedition, looking for El Dorado. It’s a masterpiece. Quintessential Herzog and must be seen by all film buffs. Super Fly is one of the quintessential blaxploitation films. One of the best soundtracks to a film ever, and just a super cool film. It’s about a cocaine dealer looking to make ‘one last score’. Directed by Gordon Parks Jr., whose father made Shaft. Across 110th Street, meanwhile, is best known for its title song (which for you younger folks was used for the opening credits of Jackie Brown). But it’s a solid film. Anthony Quinn and Yaphet Kotto play cops (Quinn is the older, more racist one) who go after some guys who are about to start a gang war between black gangsters and the Mafia. It’s really good.

The theme of this next paragraph is gonna be “later films by famous directors.” We begin with Alfred Hitchcock, and Frenzy. His last thriller, it takes place in London, and is about a serial murderer who strangles women with neckties. We follow both the killer and his friend, who is the top suspect, as the killer begins to realize the police are targeting his friend and begins to plant evidence to draw suspicion away from himself. Famous for a tracking shot after one of the murders takes place, as the camera backs away from the apartment where the murder took place and back outside to a busy street. It’s got some really solid moments in it and proves that Hitch still had it even near the end. Avanti!, meanwhile, is a Billy Wilder film. One of his weakest, but still worth a watch. Stars Jack Lemmon as a businessman who goes to Italy to pick up his deceased father’s body, only to discover that his father had a mistress who also died in the accident. He encounters the woman’s daughter, and a small incident where the bodies of his father and his father’s mistress are stolen for the morgue for ransom. The film is too long, but as someone who loves Billy Wilder, I’ll watch anything he made. Fat City is a John Huston film about two boxers. Stacy Keach is an over-the-hill boxer and Jeff Bridges is an upstart. After an encounter, Keach sends him to train with a guy he knows but is also inspired to start fighting again himself. We watch the trajectory of the two men over the course of the film. It’s pretty solid. Susan Tyrrell was nominated for playing a drunk who takes up with Keach.

Boxcar Bertha is a Martin Scorsese movie. His second feature, after Who’s That Knocking at My Door? It’s a Depression-Era film starring Barbara Hershey and David Carradine. He’s a union leader trying to fight for workers’ rights on the railroad. After an incident, they end up on the run, robbing trains to survive. It’s kind of like Bound for Glory meets Bonnie and Clyde. It’s not the best movie in the world and one of Scorsese’s weakest, but it’s still solid. Legend has it that John Cassavetes saw this movie and told him it was shit, and that he should work on more personal movies rather than for-hire jobs. And then Scorsese went and made Mean Streets. So I guess that worked. Cocksucker Blues, meanwhile, is a Rolling Stones documentary. (Only fitting to mention after Scorsese.) This is the one that never got released. The Stones sued and a settlement was reached whereby the film can only be screened if its director is in attendance. That’s because this is a documentary that captures the Stones in moments outside of concerts. And — drugs are involved. There’s a scene where people actually shot up heroin on camera. It’s… not particularly flattering, but we all know it happened, so it’s not that shocking. Still, as far as music docs go, this one is pretty infamous. Butterflies Are Free is a Goldie Hawn rom com where she falls in love with her blind neighbor who has to deal with an overbearing mother. It’s fun. She’s charming as always. Eileen Heckart won an Oscar as the mother.

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds is a Paul Newman-directed film starring Joanne Woodard as an eccentric widower taking care of her two daughters. The play it was based on won the Pulitzer. The film is mostly told through the eyes of the daughters, and it’s a solid film. The older daughter is played by Newman and Woodward’s actual daughter. And the other daughter is played by Eli Wallach’s daughter. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask) is a Woody Allen comedy full of sex-related vignettes. My favorite segment is the one where Gene Wilder falls in love with a sheep. It’s also got homages to Italian cinema, Shakespeare, TV game shows and Ed Wood. The Allen comedies are usually worthwhile. Play It Again, Sam is a Woody Allen film he didn’t direct, but did write and stars in. He plays a guy obsessed with Bogart who has imaginary conversations with him as he tries to get over his divorce and start dating again. It’s okay. Pretty standard Allen fare. Moments I don’t like but moments that I think are genius. Also representative of all the stuff of his that I find icky.

The Offence is a Sidney Lumet film starring Sean Connery. Very under the radar and quite good. Connery is a cop who can’t stand all the violent crimes that keep taking place and is haunted by the ones he’s seen over the years. The strain eventually becomes too much, and one night he snaps and kills a suspected child molester during an interrogation. The film deals with his mental state after this and figuring out why he did what he did. It’s — strong. And a nice little Lumet gem that no one knows about. The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid is a western about the James-Younger gang and their most famous robbery. Robert Duvall plays Jesse James and Cliff Robertson is Cole Younger.  Lady Sings the Blues is a biopic of Billie Holliday starring Diana Ross. She’s very good in the role and earned an Oscar nomination for it. Also has Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor in it.

Play It as It Lays is a Frank Perry film based on the Joan Didion novel. She co-wrote the movie with her husband. Tuesday Weld plays an actress who’s had a nervous breakdown and is in a mental institution. She thinks about all the events that led her there, and we see them in flashback. It’s worth seeing. All the Frank Perry stuff is worth seeing because it’s been so utterly ignored and is way more solid than anyone would think. The Revengers is a nice little western. William Holden is a Civil War vet living on a ranch with his family. He returns to find his family dead, victims of a Comanche attack. Swearing revenge, he builds his own posse from a group of prisoners and they set out to find the ones responsible. Ernest Borgnine and Woody Strode play two of the prisoners and Susan Hayward plays a woman they encounter along the way. Solid little film. Sounder was a Best Picture nominee this year. Based on the famous novel, it’s about a family of black sharecroppers who face a crisis when their patriarch gets sent to a prison camp. After a while, the mother sends the son to visit the father, and the result is a coming-of-age journey as the boy travels to the camp. It’s strong. Cicely Tyson and Paul Winfield are great. Both were nominated for their roles. It’s a gem. Directed by Martin Ritt, who also did Hud and has Pete ‘n’ Tillie this year as well..

The Man is a great little movie. Originally made as a TV movie (and it shows), they decided to release it theatrically. Rod Serling wrote this movie. Here’s the premise: the President and Speaker of the House die in a freak accident. So, by law, that means the Vice President takes over. Only he says he’s dying from a terminal illness and absolutely can’t. So, the next person in line becomes president, the President of the Senate. Only, there’s one small hitch… he’s black. That’s right, James Earl Jones becomes president. And the film is about him being thrust into this job out of nowhere, dealing with not only the historical weight of this, but also the deep racial divide in the country as well as the fact that he has to learn on the job. It’s a really interesting movie. Definitely limited by how they originally shot it, but it definitely has its moments and is worth seeing. Snoopy Come Home is a Peanuts film. And every Peanuts film is wonderful. This is the one where Snoopy feels out of place (“No Dogs Allowed”) and ends up going to see his former owner. This one’s got a lot of heart.

– – – – – – – – – –

http://bplusmovieblog.com

Advertisements

2 responses

  1. lacourseauxetoiles

    I really love the inclusion of 1776 on here. However, I am questioning what you think a masterpiece is. I don’t understand how you can call films like Aguirre, the Wrath of God masterpieces but not even include them in your top 20 films of the year.

    May 3, 2018 at 11:06 pm

    • I really don’t think you understand how top ten lists work.

      May 4, 2018 at 7:30 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.